Written Report (Grad Only)

  • Who: Grad students only
  • Due: Tuesday, March 22. 11:59 PM.


In this assignment, you will write a response to a prompt related to a topic in HCI. A high quality response will require you to read and synthesize related literature and articulate your position.

The Prompt

Audio-browsing of large tables. The latest Accessibility Programming Guide (iOS) provides guidance to developers who are implementing VoiceOver to enable users with visual impairments to use their mobile devices to navigate interactive content. The VoiceOver feature uses automated speech to provide feedback to the user describing the current application state, application labels, available controls, and pre-defined attributes of non-textual data in the display, such as images. However, designing VoiceOver techniques that can aid interaction with complex data types (such as large tables) is non-trivial.

You are tasked with designing a VoiceOver technique to enable a visually-impaired user to both browse and locate specific entries in nested tables. The tables can contain both numerical and textual information, and the technique is expected to work in a mobile tablet that is speech- and touch-enabled. What is meant by VoiceOver here is that speech-based feedback is provided to the user---feedback can be given in response to specific user interactions, or in response to any update in the application state.

  • How would the user-centered process you learned have you go about designing a technique that recognizes the user’s interactions with nested tables presented on the tablet display, and responds with auditory (e.g., speech-based) feedback?
  • Briefly describe (you can use sketches if you like) a design idea you have to solve this problem. Note: You do not need to know how iOS applications currently support VoiceOver functionality to answer this question. You can state any assumptions you wish about how the technique you use employs auditory feedback and recognizes input from the user.
  • Outline a process for doing an evaluation of your design idea. State which methods you choose to use to do so, and justify your choice of methods. Provide some specific examples of evaluation criteria that are relevant, and provide a detailed example of how you might design a study to investigate these criteria. Justify your choice of criteria and your use of methods to investigate them.

  • Formatting

    Your document should be submitted in PDF format, using Times Roman 11 point type with normal margins, 1.5 line spacing. Be sure to address all parts of the prompt. Don't forget to incorporate and cite relevant literature. This requires you to search for and read some related literature beyond the explicit requirements listed for this course. A thorough response probably requires a minimum of one page.


    • The document, submitted as a PDF according to the formatting guidelines above.
    • Grading: Grading will be based on the writing rubric.